Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 8
Bye Week Teams
Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans
Quarterbacks (Updated: Friday, Oct. 26 - 11:02PM CT)
1. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Jax) – Would you believe me if I told you that Rodgers had just one more TD pass at this point last season as he does right now? Well, it’s true. After seven games in 2011, the league MVP had 20 touchdowns and 3 interceptions compared to 19 and 4 this year, so in case you were wondering if Aaron had lost his mojo; he hasn’t. In fact, the 118.4 fantasy points he’s accumulated over the last four weeks is the second-best fantasy stretch he’s had in his entire career (Weeks 4-7 in 2011; 119.9 points). The only way I can see Rodgers being stopped right now would be if a defense could penetrate the Packers offensive line and put him on his ass around 10 times or so. Too bad the Jaguars have the fewest sacks in the league this season with only five in six games.
2. Peyton Manning (vs. NO - Sunday Night) – Wait a second here. Is Peyton Manning actually BETTER than he was before the neck surgery? It’s sure starting to look like it as he’s now put up four straight 300-yard games with three TD passes in each of the last three. The last time he had a streak like this was back in 2004 when he set the world on fire with 49 TDs. Coincidentally, 2004 was also the only other time he averaged this many fantasy points per game as he currently ranks fifth in the league with 19.9 a contest. I expect his average to go UP this week with the Broncos taking on a Saints defense that allows 22 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs—most in the NFL.
3. Drew Brees (@ Den - Sunday Night) – Here is how the Saints last three games break down from a fantasy standpoint for quarterbacks: In Week 4, Brees and Aaron Rodgers combined to put up 765 passing yards and seven TDs. In Week 5, Brees and Philip Rivers combined for 724 passing yards and six TDs. Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, Drew Brees and Josh Freeman combined for 797 passing yards and seven TDs last week totaling 58.9 QB fantasy points in a Saints victory. Anybody excited to see Brees go up against Peyton Manning and the Broncos this Sunday night? If you were wondering, Denver’s pass defense is pretty good, but they DID allow Matt Schaub to throw for 290 yards and four TDs against them in Denver this year, so…
4. Tom Brady (@ StL) – I’ve been very impressed with the Rams new-look defense this year, especially their pass D, but Aaron Rodgers showed last week that a good QB can still pick them apart when necessary. Brady has been tossing the pill around like crazy this year averaging over 40 passing attempts per game—an amount which would put him on pace for a new career high. With the Rams rush defense being much improved as well, I’m expecting another 40-plus attempts out of the Stetson Man which should be quite enough to get him 300 yards and two to three TDs. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Brady seems to really enjoy playing in domes as he’s averaged 319.0 yards and 3.0 TDs in eight indoor games since he last played in St. Louis back in 2004.
5. Andrew Luck (@ Ten) – Andrew Luck hasn’t thrown a TD pass in two weeks now, but being the awesome athlete that he is, Luck was still able to put up top-10 fantasy points last week rushing in the Colts only two TDs on the day. The first few weeks of the season are always a huge rush for rookies, but now that he’s settled into the league a bit, the mistakes are starting to show. Luckily for Luck and thank goodness for fantasy owners, the Colts take on the lowly Tennessee Titans defense this Sunday. The Titans have allowed the most passing TDs, the fourth-most passing yards, the highest QB rating and the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. They also only have five interceptions on the year, so Luck’s rookie miscues should be kept to a minimum. The LEAST amount of QB fantasy points they’ve allowed to a team so far this year is 15.9, which is normally right around the edge of QB1 status. Andrew should do better than that.
6. Robert Griffin III (@ Pit) – I said it last week and I’ll continue to say it again and again and again: In RGIII I trust. I will never doubt Mr. Robert Griffin from here on out after the moxie he showed in Week 6 coming back from one of the more vicious, concussion-inducing hits I’ve seen on a QB. In the two weeks he’s played since then, all Griffin has done is continue to run while accumulating the third-most rushing yards in the league (227) behind only Chris Johnson (286) and Adrian Peterson (232). Black Jesus indeed, Mr. Fred Davis! This week he goes into Pittsburgh to face a rough Steelers defense that can still dominate a game when necessary. Like I said, though; in RGIII I trust… as should you.
7. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Was) – Whether Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman come back to play or not doesn’t really matter as they’ll both be at less than 100 percent even if they do. Jonathan Dwyer looked good last week, but do the Steelers really trust him to carry the load? Either way, the Redskins rush D is FAR better than what they trot out there against the pass, so I expect Roethlisberger to continue with his weekly aerial assault and come close to 40 passing attempts yet again. In seven games this season, the Redskins have allowed SIX 300-yard passers; and do you know what the seventh guy did? It was Josh Freeman, and he threw for 299 yards. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and even Emmanuel Sanders should all have their way out there, which can only mean big numbers for Big Ben this Sunday.
8. Matt Ryan (@ Phi) – Matt Ryan started the year off like gangbusters, but came back down to earth a bit during the last couple of games before his Week 7 bye. If something seemed out of sync or if Ryan was getting a little too high on his horse, I guarantee the Falcons coaching staff took care of it during their time off and got their QB back on track. Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez as your three main targets isn’t something you take for granted, something I’m sure Matty Ice was reminded of. Philadelphia has one of the better pass defenses in the league, but the talent within that Atlanta offense should rise to the top here and give Ryan some nice QB1 numbers in the end.
9. Philip Rivers (@ Cle) – The last game Philip Rivers played (the Monday night collapse against the Broncos) was probably one of the more forgettable ones of his career, yet Rivers has had to think about it for two weeks now with the Chargers being on a bye this past weekend. On the bright side, Rivers has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games and actually has the highest completion percentage of his career right now (66.5%). On an even brighter side, his opponent this week, the Cleveland Browns, have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to QBs this season with no quarterback scoring less than 15.9 in a game. With Ryan Mathews back in full force and demanding attention, Rivers should be able to pick apart the Browns secondary for some pretty nice numbers this weekend.
10. Eli Manning (@ Dal) – Eli has had a pretty lackluster last couple of weekends from a fantasy standpoint, though I’m betting that the game-winning bomb to Victor Cruz last Sunday woke this sleeping Giant up. Although he put on a pretty lame performance against the Cowboys in the first game of the season, Manning knows he can throw against them as he averaged 373 yards and 2.5 TDs against them last season. Granted, the ‘Boys didn’t have CBs Brandon Carr and rookie stud Morris Claiborne in 2011, but Dallas’ defense was just thrown for a bit of a loop with the news that potential All-Pro LB Sean Lee is now out for the season. I expect Manning and Co. to take full advantage of the situation getting Cruz, Nicks and even some Martellus Bennett involved in exploiting the Cowboys disarray in the middle of the field.
11. Tony Romo (vs. NYG)
12. Michael Vick (vs. Atl)
13. Carson Palmer (@ KC)
14. Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Ind)
15. Christian Ponder (vs. TB - Thursday Night) – 19-for-35 – 251 yards – 1 TD – 1 INT
16. Brandon Weeden (vs. SD)
17. Jay Cutler (vs. Car)
18. Matthew Stafford (vs. Sea)
19. Sam Bradford (vs. NE)
20. Cam Newton (@ Chi)
21. Josh Freeman (@ Min - Thursday Night) – 19-for-36 – 262 yards – 3 TDs – 0 INTs
22. Mark Sanchez (vs. Mia)
23. Russell Wilson (@ Det)
24. Alex Smith (@ Ari - Monday Night)
25. Ryan Tannehill (@ NYJ)
26. John Skelton (vs. SF - Monday Night)
27. Blaine Gabbert (@ GB)
28. Brady Quinn (vs. Oak)
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